03 Apr 2006

Who Do You Think You Are?

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On the back page of Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, Bathsheba Monk goes back home to Pennsylvania’s Anthracite Coal Region (where this blog’s author also grew up), to teach a course at the community college in Tamaqua, hoping she can help others to escape. Her message of hope is not well received.

4 Feedbacks on "Who Do You Think You Are?"

Ashley Muskett

How can you say such untruthful things about this area? I have lived in tamaqua for almost 6 years and even though I plan on moving away from here as soon as i turn 18, This area is not as bad as you claim it to be. People are NOT covered in soot, or squinty eyed. most of your descriptions about this town are far from true. You have not lived in this town for many years, Of course things will change, but we are not creatures from another planet or something. None of what you said was true. We do not have fat paper boys who will ram into your car for no reason. What makes you town so much better than ours? All towns may have there problems, but we are not that different from Allentown. So, keep your untruthful lies about this town to yourself.
Ashley Muskett

Gene Baran

Bathsheba writes “My grandfather migrated from Poland to Hazelton, Pa”. If she spent time there and was born in a nearby “patch town” would she not know it is spelled “Hazleton”?


Personally, I think she probably came rolling into town up 309 with a great big “US OUT OF IRAQ” bumper sticker on her foreign car, so naturally somebody was a trifle annoyed.


The Hazeton misspelling was probably not her, but the NY Times production team.


I grew up in Shenandoah, was born in Locust Valley.

Gerry Heffner

A teacher is supposed to lift students up by teaching, not preaching. If someone has aspirations of becoming a cop, I would expect an instructor to exalt that persons dreams and lend strength to them by inspiring him or her to move toward the direction their chosen goal, not diminish it by telling them they aren’t reaching far enough. ‘Moving on’, as the author puts it, does not necessarily have to equate to an individual geographically relocating to another region of the world to achieve a measure of success.

Someone once said, ‘Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.’


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